Not-so-safeguarding

I didn’t realise how long the latest blog-pause has been until I noticed a thread on No2id very politely inquiring after ARCH’s health. Yep, it’s been a bit manic again, but I hope to post a bit over the next few days to give everyone an idea of the things that have come between ARCH and its blog.

You’d have to have been in a coma or out of the country to miss all the recent headlines about the Independent Safeguarding Authority, and the danger of letting un-vetted adults anywhere near children. It’s certainly changed the way I look at things. For example, I nipped into our local Costcutter the other morning and found the owner chatting happily with a little girl – nobody else was in the shop. I returned home, only to see the milkman at the door of our neighbours across the road. Their 14yo daughter had answered and was talking to him. Yikes! her parents were both out at work! Hmm, maybe everyone should be vetted. Oh, hang on… then we’re back at square one again.

In today’s Observer, Catherine Bennett points out how reluctant Parmjit Dhanda (the minister responsible for the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, which brought the ISA to birth) was to let anyone slip through the net:

as Parmjit Dhanda made clear, the more vetting the merrier. Whatever its lamentable vaguenesses about scope, definitions, enforcement and so forth, no one would ever fault his bill for inclusiveness.

Funnily enough, we would. When this grisly Act was still an embryonic Bill, we tried to get an amendment to make the provision of mobile location tracking services a regulated activity. You can see the full story here.

Doesn’t it seem faintly ridiculous that someone driving a mini-bus containing the school football team needs to be vetted, while the person who knows exactly where your child (or, at least, your child’s mobile) is at any given moment doesn’t even need a CRB check?

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